The federal court overseeing thousands of testosterone drug lawsuits has vacated Axiron bellwether trial dates, after Eli Lilly agreed to a global settlement of all claims.
The Axiron lawsuit settlement was announced last week in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, where all federally-filed testosterone lawsuits have been undergoing centralized pretrial proceedings.
“On today’s date, December 21, 2017, the Court has been advised by counsel for plaintiffs and counsel for defendant, Eli Lilly and Company, that they have reached a global settlement, including all filed cases. The parties have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding,” the Court’s Order stated.
In addition to vacating the bellwether trial dates, the Court stayed proceedings in all Axiron lawsuits for 45 days, enabling the parties to devote their efforts to finalizing a Master Settlement Agreement.
No further details have been released regarding the Axiron testosterone settlement.
Prescription testosterone medications such as Axiron, AndroGel and Testim are only approved to treat hypogonadism, or low testosterone secondary to an injury or medical condition.
In March 2015, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) ordered testosterone manufacturers to update their product labels with information regarding an increased risk of heart attacks and stroke. The agency also directed the drug companies to ensure that the labels clearly stated that the medications are only indicated for men who suffer from hypogonadism and that they have not been proven safe and effective for relieving symptoms caused by age-related drops in testosterone.
In June 2015, the FDA determined that testosterone labels should include a general warning in regarding a risk of venous thromboembolism, venous blood clots that include deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
Court documents indicate that more than 6,200 testosterone lawsuits are currently pending in the Northern District of Illinois, all of which were filed on behalf of men who suffered heart attacks, blood clots, and other cardiovascular complications allegedly related to their use of Axiron, AndroGel, Testim, and other prescription testosterone treatments.
Among other things, plaintiffs accuse the drugs’ manufacturers of inventing a disorder – Low T – to induce otherwise healthy men to use their products to relieve fatigue, low libido, and other symptoms that accompany the natural male aging process.
So far, the federal litigation has convened two AndroGel bellwether trials. The first plaintiff was awarded $150 million in punitive damages in July, after the jury hearing the case found that AbbVie, Inc. had engaged in false advertising when it marketed the popular testosterone treatment. However, the trial judge recently tossed that verdict and ordered a new trial after ruling that the jury’s findings were too conflicting and inconsistent to resolve via post-trial motions.
The second AndroGel lawsuit concluded in October, with the jury ordering AbbVie to pay the plaintiff $140,000 in compensatory damages and $140 million in punitive damages.
The Axiron agreement is the litigation’s first global testosterone lawsuit settlement.